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Hotel Fees / Hotel Tips / Lists / → All Tags
In addition to the resort fees that have been a topic of late, more often we’re seeing little charges on our hotel bills or hearing of people being nickel-and-dimed for services they feel should be included in the hotel rate. The Federal Trade Commission has recently sent a letter to some hotels, warning them to disclose all fees in the total hotel price.
Here’s some of the more finer print charges you should be on the look-out for:
Bedside Water: Oh, you think that bottle of water at turndown is to quench your middle-of-the night the thirst? Sure it is, to the tune of $7. Take a look a pic above. The bottle was turned so we didn’t see the price sticker until the morning (we’d come in pretty late night before) and had already taken a swig. Bam! And it tasted like regular tap water to boot!
Early departure fee: Some hotels will charge you if you have reserved for a certain amount of days and decide to check-out early. They’ve already counted on that revenue and need to make it up if you’ve changed your mind.
Minibar removal fees: You think you’re doing the right thing by removing treat temptation if you ask staff to remove or empty the mini-bar. This is especially true with small children on board. But that service isn’t free in some hotels. You may find a charge of up to $25 on your bill. And if you ask for a minifridge to chill your own treats? Expect a fee for that!
The new Nobu Hotel has barely been open a full month and already some changes are being made. And we wish it were for the better.
Caeasars Palace, who along with its sister properties in Vegas, so valiantly fought the resort fee craze a few years ago, has finally given in and will now be charging $10-$25 a night at their hotels. Those fees will include a variety of services and amenities, among them, WiFi and fitness center access. We're guessing Nobu, a luxury hotel located within Caesars, will be charging near the $25 mark but we're still awaiting confirmation of the exact price.
Hurricane Sandy / Hotel News / Manhattan Hotels / New Jersey Hotels / Saturday Night Live / Hotel Fees / Room Service / → All Tags
As was the case in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, disaster victims in New York and New Jersey are now being promised temporary government-paid hotel stays, if their housing situation (or lack thereof) warrants it. Though, don't go thinking these folks are headed for The Plaza or anything. At this point, all they care about is a dry, warm bed and a toilet that flushes.
Here's how it works: FEMA agrees to foot the bill for pre-arranged hotel stays that have been assigned to victims by a third party contractor (whose name is Corporate Lodging Consultants, in case you were wondering). The cost of the rooms is set at a fixed rate--the same rate paid for all federal employees who stay in hotels while on business.
The trouble is, even with that cushy government discount, rooms in NYC are still kinda pricey. Like $295/night pricey.
Which is why FEMA is now stipulating that, while eligible victims will indeed receive hotel rooms, the government won't pick up any room service or telephone charges.
Hotel News Briefs / Hotel Fees / Hotel WiFi / Hotel Sick / Chicago Hotels / TripAdvisor / → All Tags
There's even more hotel news flying around this week and we don't have time to give each and every story the love and attention it may deserve, so you will have to settle for some news briefs.
· Hotels to Rake in $2 Billion in Fees: The next time you find yourself shelling out money for WiFi or to use the fitness center access during your hotel stay, remember, it's ok to be really pissed off about it. That's because hotels are set to take in about $2 billion in fees this year. That's up 5.4 percent from last year, according to the Tisch Center at New York University. While the annual take-in from fees isn't expected to keep growing, that's still a crazy high number. All the more reason to raise a fuss if that WiFi connection shorts out. Grrr.
· Seriously Sick at The JW Marriott Chicago: The new-ish JW Marriott Chicago is under investigation as a total of seven people who stayed at the hotel this summer have contracted the sometimes deadly Legionnaires’ disease which is found in water. The Chicago Tribune reports that the hotel has drained its pool, hot tub and fountain and even closed part of its spa. We're guessing that chlorine-free pool might not have been such a good idea after all. While the city's health department said there is "no ongoing health risk at the hotel", the JW Marriott is still working to alert the 8,500 guests who stayed at the hotel between July 16 and Aug. 15. Ugh. UPDATE: Two people have died from the outbreak.
Romantic Hotels / Outdoor Showers / Auberge Hotels / Sedona Hotels / Hotel Packages / Hotel Fees / → All Tags
Romance seekers and au naturel enthusiasts will be delighted to know that L'Auberge de Sedona wants you to stand outside your room, completely naked. Well that is only true in part- but it is true.
After a multiphase $25 million renovation completed last year that included a new lobby, the redesign of the resort’s Lodge rooms and Creekside and Garden Cottages, and the addition of several brand new Spa Cottages and Vista Cottages and Suites, we've learned that L'Auberge has also added private outdoor showers. Yup, to up the romance factor in our favorite cottages to an "11", L'Auberge has added luxurious enclosed outdoor cedar showers open to the sky for viewing the sunrise or the stars.
But, but, but it looks so pretty!
While we were thrilled to get a sneak peek at the just-opened Bulgari Hotel in London from a spy who said the place was "oozing quality", it looks like
a reporter the travel editor from Daily Mail who spent the night couldn't get out of the place fast enough.
Dubbing the spot "The Vulgari Hotel (ouch), Mark Palmer found Britain's most expensive hotel to be just another "crass monument to bling" populated with fawning Bulgari flunkeys. Needless to say, he wasn't impressed by the hotel's style featuring black granite floors in the lobby, polished mahogany, glass cabinets displaying Bulgari jewelry and security guards.
Nor was he taken with the overservice of the hotel's employees, saying there is "the almost obligatory dispensing of £5 notes to grovelling staff as they press the lift buttons on your behalf and generally buzz about like pesky wasps."
The harshest criticisms were reserved for the hotel's bar and restaurant which aside from extremely high prices, the joint according to Palmer is staffed by "waiters are so greasy you can practically smell the Brylcreem." Also, "the lighting is harsh, the acoustics appalling." And ordering is nothing short of a visit to a hospital. Palmer writes:
In addition to the main menu, there’s a list of ‘bites to share to start your meal’ and a pencil. You’re meant to tick the boxes opposite the dishes you want, rather like patients in hospital: seven little mouthfuls come in at £28.
Hotel Woes / Hotel Fees / Hotel Credit Cards / Manhattan Hotels / Hotel Lawsuits / Hotel Fraud / → All Tags
The WSJ is reporting that an auditor for Amsterdam Hospitality Group has greedily helped himself to the credit card information of 237 guests, drawing from three of the group's eight Manhattan hotels. Luckily, NYC's Fashion Week mainstay, the Empire Hotel, which the company owns, wasn't affected.
Phew! Though we dote happily on the Empire's ritzy Lincoln Center location and rooftop drinking accommodations, we'd rather not take our chances when handing over our credit cards for a $450-a-night stay. We have enough "mystery charges" showing up on our monthly statements (as we mentioned earlier this morning, our love of hotels is exceeded only by our love of shopping) as it is, and have no need for disappearing funds.
OpenThread / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Fees / Toiletry Dispensers / Smart Check-In / Hotel Bathtubs / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
Nothing gets the HotelChatter debate going faster than a mention of the uber-controvertial—and increasingly common—toiletry dispensers popping up these days. But according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC), that's just one of the trends guests are now seeing.
The article starts by tackling the beast that is hotel fees—something we know a little about. And with our ear firmly on the carpeted hotel ground, we can safely bet this is a "trend" hated by everyone. But disappearing bathtubs? Colorful lobby couches? Locally-sourced food and drink options? These can't all be bad, can they? Click below to see the full list, and weigh in with your own "love it" or "hate it" of hotel trends.
This story is for all the people who leave us nasty comments when we complain about annoying hotel fees. At least we haven't filed a lawsuit about them yet.
Yes, one man is so upset about being charged 75 cents for what he thought was a free copy of USA Today that he is suing Hilton Hotels in a federal class action lawsuit. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Rodney Harmon, 55, of Sacramento said he visited the Hilton Garden Inn Sonoma County Airport on March 28 and saw a copy of USA Today outside his door.
"He did not request a newspaper and assumed it had been placed there by hotel staff," said the suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Harmon didn't realize until later that a 75-cent charge for the paper had been added to his bill. Harmon accused Hilton of deliberately hiding the newspaper charge by describing the fee in an "extremely small font which is difficult to notice or read" on the sleeve of the room card.
We're sorry to ruin your Friday with this story about an outrageously expensive hotel fee but we feel you just had to know, especially if you were considering booking a stay at the St. Regis Bahia Bahia in Puerto Rico.
A prospective guest and tipster emailed us the description of the $60 resort fee which is found on the hotel's website:
Guest will be charged $60 USD daily for a resort charge inclusive of tax. This includes: toll-free and local phone calls, high-speed wireless Internet access in public areas and guest rooms, a welcome cocktail amenity in each room upon arrival, beach and pool services including beach umbrellas, ice cold water “spritzing”, frozen grapes, electronic books and I-pods (based upon availability), fresh-fruit bites, unlimited use of all non-motorized water sports and snorkeling equipment exclusively at the Boat House, bicycles (based upon availability), tennis center/courts day and night (equipment available at no additional cost), and use of our golf course driving range.
Hotel Fees / Hotel Hell / Kimpton Hotels / Sheraton Hotels / Las Vegas Hotels / Miami Beach Hotels / San Diego Hotels / → All Tags
Is this offer from an airline or a hotel?
Whee!! Summer is officially here and you've got the urge to book a flight+hotel (or two or three) for a summery getaway. But while we've all begrudgingly accepted that airlines are extra fees-obsessed (baggage fees, leg room fees, change fees, security fees, early boarding fees, etc.), we're disheartened to see that more and more hotels are acting like airlines these days by charging big fees for little extras.
Here are five of the top offenders so far:
5. Fontainebleau: The good news is that it looks like this popular Miami Beach hotel has dropped their $8 baggage fee in case you want to store your luggage after check-out but before your flight home. The bad news is they are charging you $150 for incidentals when you check-in. Yup, they automatically charge you $150 before you even step foot in your hotel room.
Now, if you don't charge anything to your room during your stay, the charge will be released at check-out but will take five to seven days to appear back in your account. If you don't have a credit card at check-in, you will be asked to fork over $600 in cash. Then you will be refunded the money via a check in the mail sometime after you check out. Seriously. You can read for yourself here.
Hotel Fees / Resort Fees / Hotel Hell / Viva Vegas / Smoking Ban / Smokies Hotels / MGM MIrage Hotels / → All Tags
What exactly is going on with MGM Grand?
No sooner were we relieved that it had caved to public opinion/common sense and ditched its $20 fee for guaranteeing you a non-smoking room, than we realized they’d done something even more ridonkulous.
Yes, they did, as they promised, take down the $20 non-smoking charge off their website.
But instead, yesterday they replaced it with a $20 charge for a smoking room.
Oh yeah. Last night, the reservations page of MGM Grand had replaced the $20 non-smoking fee with a $20 fee to guarantee a smoking room. Here’s the proof, with screenshots and everything.